The penny loafer is versatile and worn by men and women and even children. Just think, this fashion trend intensified with dairy farmers in Norway.
Shoemaker Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger was born in 1874. When he was 13, Tveranger went to North America where he learned the craft of shoemaking before returning to Norway, and more specifically the town of Aurland, when he was about 20. Around 1930, Tveranger introduced a new design called the “Aurland moccasin”, later renamed the “Aurland shoe,” which was something like the moccasins used by the Iroquois as well as the design of moccasin-like shoes traditionally worn by locals in Aurland. They were typically worn outdoors in warmer weather. Tourists to Norway were attracted to the shoes and by the 1950s this Norwegian footwear was being exported to the USA and the rest of Europe in large numbers. Esquire magazine did a spread about them and in a few of the photographs in the Esquire feature depicted Norwegian farmers wearing them in a cattle loafing area. The popular name originated there.
Why the penny on the loafer? It dates back to American Culture in the 40s/50s era when cell phones weren’t available and the public phone was the go to connection. A dime equaled the cost of a phone call via public phone, and teenagers would insert a dime on each loafer. Dimes were precious back then and they would hold well in the insert and wouldn’t get lost. In the 60s the loafer made a comeback with youngsters tweaking it a bit to insert a penny and make a fashion statement. The loafer can be dressed up or dressed down and there’s a cuteness that comes with it. You can wear them with boyfriend jeans, tripped skinny jeans, slacks, skirts and dresses. You can add ankle socks or no show socks as well. The loafer is super classy and an easy and perfect shoe for a casual day at the office or day out shopping. However you decide to loaf around enjoy that flat style of the penny loafer.
“I got quarters in my loafers, trying to fight inflation when it only used to take a cent.” Jimmy Buffett